Nominations open for GSK Award for Research

37th year of $80,000 research grant

Nominations for GSK’s Award for Research Excellence are now open until 10th July. The longstanding award seeks to assist leading Australian researchers by providing the winner with an $80,000 grant to support their research journey. 

The GSK Award for Research Excellence is one of the most prestigious available to the Australian medical research community. It has been awarded since 1980 to recognise outstanding achievements in medical research with potential importance to human health.

Last year’s award was received by Professors Arthur Christopoulos and Patrick Sexton for their research into G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). View their video here.

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Changes to NHMRC’s Grant Program

The eagerly awaited changes to the NHMRC’s grant program have been announced this morning. As Research Australia and many others in our sector have advocated for, they are a combination of elements from the models proposed in the consultation paper issued in the middle of last year. Importantly, these changes reflect much of the advice provided to the review panel from the sector.

Research Australia welcomes the reforms announced and notes that there is never ‘a perfect solution’ but that these changes are a positive step in the right direction and address key issues flagged by the sector. Research Australia also commends the efforts of the NHMRC CEO Anne Kelso AO and the Expert Advisory Group chaired by Professor Steve Wesselingh.

The stated aims of the changes are to:

  1. Encourage research that is more creative and innovative
  2. Provide opportunities for Australia’s best health and medical researchers at all career stages, and
  3. Minimise the burden on researchers in preparing and reviewing grant applications, allowing them to spend more time on research.

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Funding boost from MRFF for clinical trials

Australian clinical trials received a much-needed boost today with details of the Medical Research Future Fund’s disbursements announced.

The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt announced the detail around the allocation of the funding into clinical trials in Australia that was handed down at the Budget last Tuesday as part of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

As the Health and Medical Research industry body, we were pleased to hear the importance the Australian Government has placed on clinical trials, collaboration, and translation of research and mid-career medical researchers.

“Clinical trials are a crucial part of changing and saving lives,” said Research Australia CEO, Nadia Levin. “This commitment goes a long way in making a difference to Australians whose lives depend on the outcomes of the best research we can offer”.

The announcement was made at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney at an event to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day.
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The Australian Health Data Series

Flying Blind | The Australian Health Data Series 

Flying Blind is a series of three reports dedicated to uncovering the acute levels of data fragmentation existing at all levels of Australia’s health landscape.

CMCRC in collaboration with Research Australia is currently working on the second report which examines Australia’s health and medical research data environment and traces the difficulties that Australian researchers face at each stage of their journey as they attempt to access research data. Volume One dived into consumers and digital health through the patient journey, service fragmentation, health data silos, legislation, regulation and policy and consumer concerns and perceptions.

As we write Volume Two: Researchers and the Health Data Maze, we’ll be publishing regular blog posts of interest to this topic. The blog is updated regularly by members of the CMCRC’s Health Market Quality program and Research Australia. If you would like to be a guest blogger please email Lucy Clynes with your expressions of interest.

Bookmark this website today: https://flyingblind.cmcrc.com/researchers-health-data.
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Detail of further MRFF payments released

The Turnbull Government continues to deliver on the promise to establish a flow of funding into health and medical research $20 billion capital target to be achieved in 2020-21.

Part of the $10 million announced in the 2017-18 budget is to be allocated to the existing AHRTCs ($8 million) and $2 million to help the existing and new AHRTCs and CIRHs.

Tuesday’s announcement concerned the $2 million being allocated to Monash Health Partners, an active member of Research Australia, the AHRTC built around Monash University. It will fund a number of projects across cancer, cardiovascular and diabetes to improve access to and use of new and existing services.

More announcements to come as they gear up to notify the sector of funding for other AHRTCs and Centres for Innovation in Regional Health.

[Read the full media release]

Federal Budget 2017-18 | First grants issued by MRFF

Response to Budget 2017

Research Australia welcomes first grants issued by Medical Research Future Fund

Government delivers on promise to establish flow of funding into health and medical research $20 billion capital target to be achieved in 2020-21

After a long-fought campaign to bring the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to reality, health and medical researchers have welcomed the first round of grants issued from the MRFF, as announced tonight in the Federal Budget. $65.9 million is available for 2016/17, with the detail of $25 million of this spending released tonight. Just as importantly, we now have a clear path to achieving the capital target of $20 billion, with the Budget papers revealing this target will be achieved in 2020-21.

Research Australia Director and CSL’s Senior Vice President of Research, Dr Andrew Nash, said the Budget announcement tonight confirmed the Government has begun to deliver on its promise to establish a consistent flow of funding for health and medical research.

“The grants announced tonight represent an important milestone in the establishment of this landmark source of funding for health and medical research.
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Federal Budget 2017-18 | Highlights

We have just got out of the Health Portfolio Federal Budget Lockup and here’s some early news on items affecting our sector.

We will provide you with more details around how the Federal Budget 2017-18 directly impacts health and medical research in the next few hours.

  • In 17-18, the total Health budget including (Aged Care & Sport) will increase 2.8% on last year to $94.2bn – that is 20% of total Commonwealth spend.
  • $5bn of that relates to HMR which includes:
    • $10M in preventive health research funded from MRFF
    • $78.8m for cancer research including $68m for a Proton Beam Facility in South Australia and $14.8m for childhood cancer.
  • Funding of $642.9 million will be made available in 2020 – 21, bringing total investment in HMR over the first 5 years of the MRFF to 1.4b, this is in addition to NHMRC funding.
  • $374.2m for national expansion of My Health Record to an opt-out system as agreed by COAG last year which will deliver enormous savings to the nation’s health bill over the next decade.
  • A compact with the pharmaceutical sector will mean lower cost medicines for consumers and in return allow more new drugs on the PBS and provide certainty and funding viability for the sector – congratulations to Medicines Australia

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Clinical Trials 2017: National Tribute & Awards Ceremony

Research Australia is proud to be joining Australian Clinical Trials Alliances (ACTA) to bring together the Clinical Trials 2017: National Tribute & Awards Ceremony.

This partnership is in line with Research Australia’s collaborative strategy that continues to work towards an improved clinical trials environment driving evidence-based change in the health system and new commercial opportunities.

Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Sport, will attend the Clinical Trials 2017: National Tribute and Awards Ceremony to present the prestigious ACTA Trial of the Year Award and the inaugural ACTA STInG Excellence in Trial Statistics Award.
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BIG IDEA 2030

Bill Ferris AC, Chair of Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) recently floated the possibility of using major high-impact large scale projects to drive innovation. “In developing the 2030 Strategic Plan, we hope to identify one or more major, game-changing, initiatives with scale that can deliver significant direct and spill-over benefits to the innovation system and broader economy”.

Submissions for the 2030 Strategic Plan are due by the end of May. Now’s the time to to look into the future of science in this country, and you can shape the work you’re going to be doing for the next 20-30 years.

We are after BIG IDEA 2030 suggestions to include in our submission that will tweak the interest of Government and aim to position Australia as a global leader by 2030.

Need somewhere to start?

  • Your BIG IDEA 2030 will need to include several disciplines and cross-sector collaboration across health and medical research and innovation
  • Assume budget and timeframe are not limitations
  • Think Moonshot, think Square Kilometre Array, think BIG!

Please send your BIG IDEA 2030 to greg.mullins@researchaustralia.org and we’ll include it in the planning for our submission.
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